John Zeiler was not at practice Friday and Crawford said he has been sent down to Manchester. No word yet on who the Kings will call up. That Jon Klemm can play defense or forward probably helps his cause. Zeiler, 25, had been up with the Kings all season. The second-year player averaged eight minutes and 35 seconds of ice time over 34 games with one assist and 23 penalty minutes.
Here’s what Crawford had to say about Zeiler: “John Zeiler has I think got caught up in the tenseness and the complications that come from an extended period of play that a team has gone trhough. We can do something for John Zeiler, which is allow him to go down and recapture his game. Hes given us energy. Weve been really pleased with the energy hes given us and the hits that hes given us, but it pretty much stops there. And theres more of a player there in John Zeiler that we believe hes got to continue to develop. Theyre playing a lot of games right now in Manchester. Its going to give him a good opportunity to go down and play. We can’t just throw John in and say, ` John, go out there and be confident with the puck.’ He needs the opportunity to feel confident with the puck. We can’t give him the opportunity right now here, but we can give it to him there. If we’re not going to use him here in a game then he should be playing. I believe that is the thought going into this move. Make no mistake about it, though, John is a quality guy. Hes got great character. We love his enthusiasm, his energy and the physicality he plays with. What were looking at is trying to get him to be a little more of a player with the puck and let him keep progressing.”